Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Adam Boqvist aims to continue his torrid stretch on Tuesday night against his former team, the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.
Boqvist recorded two assists on Saturday as the Blue Jackets snapped a three-game skid with a 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils. The 21-year-old Swede joined Jakub Voracek in setting up Oliver Bjorkstrand’s second goal of the game with five minutes expired in the third period.
“The way we are going right now, it was a huge win for us,” Voracek said. “We made it a lot tougher than we had to, but we found a way. We need to get a win streak going. It’s a crucial time of the year. We have to get some wins.”
Boqvist, the eighth overall pick of the 2018 NHL Draft by the Blackhawks, has made quite the impact since Chicago sent him to Columbus in a blockbuster trade on July 23. He has collected 13 points (six goals, seven assists) over his last 14 games.
Blackhawks defenseman Seth Jones has done quite nicely for himself since being acquired from the Blue Jackets in the same deal. Jones has followed up signing an eight-year contract extension by notching 22 assists and 25 points, good enough to rank second and third, respectively, on the team.
Chicago goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is coming off his own reunion. The reigning Vezina Trophy recipient made 30 saves on Saturday as the Blackhawks snapped a six-game skid (0-3-3) with a 2-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights, his former team.
“I wish there was no goals, (would have) been better,” said Fleury, who spent the last four seasons with the Golden Knights.
Fleury has overcome a rough patch to get acclimated to playing with his new team. The three-time Stanley Cup winner boasts a sterling 9-4-2 record over his last 15 games.
“We looked a little chaotic at times, but we held our own,” Chicago interim coach Derek King said of Saturday’s victory. “Flower (Fleury) made some saves when we needed it, obviously, and then we had some contributions from other guys. It was great.”
The “other guys” were Jujhar Khaira and Riley Stillman, who scored their respective third and first goals of the season.
As for “the” guy, that’s Patrick Kane. The former Hart Trophy recipient has boosted his team-leading totals in assists (24) and points (31) by setting up six goals over his last four games.
Kane shredded the Blue Jackets last season to the tune of accumulating 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in eight games. All told, he has 71 points (23 goals, 48 assists) in 54 career encounters with Columbus.
Bjorkstrand, who leads the Blue Jackets with 25 points, had three goals and two assists in last season’s series versus the Blackhawks. Columbus collected points in five of the eight meetings (2-3-3).
Gustav Nyquist has six points (three goals, three assists) in his last six games for the Blue Jackets, while Eric Robinson has eight (three goals, five assists) in his last 11.
–Field Level Media